Portland went for Hillary Clinton in a big way. Three quarters of all presidential votes cast in the Forest City were for her.
Donald Trump fared much better the further north you look in Maine and he won convincingly in the rest of the nation. That makes Portland a bit of a liberal island in a sea of increasing conservatism.
I figured there must be some angry folks downtown who might want to vent into my video camera.
I didn’t find any of those people. Instead, I found a trio of young women, who’d just met, offering free hugs and reassuring words to shellshocked lefties in need.
“It’s what we want to do,” said Sophie McLeod, draped in a rainbow flag. “You know, spread the love.”
Fellow free hugger Jackie King made the sign.
“I was, actually, going to do it yesterday,” said King. “And then I didn’t feel brave enough to do it on my own. Then, this morning, at 5:30 a.m., I was like: I have to do anything.”
Beside her was first generation Latino-American Stephanie Farinhas. She said, with Trump’s win, she now feels very afraid.
I asked Farinhas what her coping strategy will be under a Trump administration.
“Trying to find any source of love and hope,” she said. “And fighting whatever I disagree with, every step of the way.”
As I walked away from them, after about an hour, they still had a steady stream of takers.